By Patrick Di JustoPosted 07.16.2012 at 5:31 pm 13 Comments
Twenty years ago, Mitchell Joseph set out to solve one of the great challenges of the modern age: how to make a can of beer that could cool itself. He designed a can that used and released the coolant HFC-134a. His prototype worked—it cooled liquid dramatically in a matter of minutes—but there was a hitch. HFC-134a is a greenhouse gas 1,400 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Popping one of Joseph's cans was the environmental equivalent of driving 500 miles, and it was illegal under EPA regulations. Suffice it to say, his original design never made it into production. This year, Joseph introduced the ChillCan, a completely legal self-chilling can that reduces a drink's temperature by 30ºF in three minutes.
If your friends and family are anything like mine, you've observed that home beverage carbonation is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately. Perhaps you've seen the increasingly ubiquitous Sodastream machine on a countertop near you—or, more likely, heard its syncopated honk and pop-fizz release from across the room, announcing another fresh liter of water made bubbly.
The French press is the simplest, cheapest way to make a legitimately good cup of coffee. Ground beans in pot, water in pot, wait four minutes, press plunger down, pour. But some coffee snobs decry the French press: the coarse screen that "presses" out the grinds allows the bean's delicious oils to make their way into your cup, but also grants passage to a dreaded interloper: fine sediments end up at the bottom of your mug, or, worse, in your mouth. The Espro Press aims to deliver the taste of a French press without that silt, thanks to an ultra-fine double-filtering system.
Dr. David Edwards, of Harvard University's Wyss Institute, is the man behind the controversial (as in, the FDA plans to investigate its safety) breathable caffeine and other vitamins, has been working on a new futuristic food item: edible containers. They've already created tomato containers with gazpacho inside, among other treats.
It takes only 48 hours to distill a barrel of whiskey. The next decade is spent making it taste good. The liquor undergoes constant chemical changes, some from the charred oak of the barrel itself, which acts like a sieve, trapping the large-molecule forms of alcohol (methanol, butanol) that give young whiskey such a rough edge. The process takes years, and as a result good whiskey is old and expensive.
An oft-repeated truism (and a much-loved one, especially on Fridays) holds that writing and drinking go hand in hand. Now this is literally true, with a lovely invention that displays letters via a QWERTY keyboard, and pumps out potent potables with every keystroke.
Behold the amazing spirituous typewriter, courtesy of Russian artist and DIYer Morskoiboy. It converts words into colorful cocktails, via a handmade hydraulic system that connects to every letter in the Latin alphabet.
The sun makes an excellent coffee roaster, it turns out
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 04.27.2011 at 10:11 am 0 Comments
In 2004, artist Dave Hartkop was looking for a way to move out of his parents’ house. Pairing his interest in alternative energy with his brother Mike’s passion for coffee, he decided to start an online coffee business, and designed a huge solar-powered roasting system to supply it. Now the brothers are on their fourth, and by far largest, version of the roaster. Dubbed Helios 4, it’s made up of more than 600 mirrors and has a 35-foot-by-35-foot footprint.
A couple of engineer buddies have designed the latest must-have accessory for the coffee drinker. Joulies are metallic beans you drop into your hot cup of coffee to make it exactly 140 degrees. They haven't even been manufactured yet, but already the project has accumulated some $35,000 in Kickstarter cash. I guess a lot of people are tired of blistered tongues.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 02.21.2011 at 10:37 am 2 Comments
Gambling just to win silver coins can get boring. Instead, play for a perfectly crafted cocktail. The BarBot was built by a team from the hacker collective NYC Resistor as part of a hacking competition co-sponsored by the videocontent company VIMBY and the carmaker Scion. The group started by buying a decommissioned slot machine from Japan on Craigslist. They added graphics to give it a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas theme, figuring that would be the perfect way to tie together gambling and booze.